Ongoing Projects

Study on electoral behavior and coalition scenarios on the right
Participating Researchers: André Azevedo Alves, João António, Ricardo F. Reis

The Research Center of the Institute for Political Studies of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (CIEP-UCP) has been actively fostering a collaboration with CESOP-UCP, the Centre for Studies and Opinion Polls of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (CESOP-UCP), to take advantage of and foster potential synergies between the production of empirical data and Political Science research. Recently, this scientific partnership led to the development and presentation of a comprehensive empirical study on electoral behavior as part of the ongoing research endeavors at CIEP (this study specifically explores voting behavior and coalition scenarios on the right). More information about this project here.

EU-RENEW: EU Research and Education Network on Europe in the World (started in 2023)
Participating Researchers: André Azevedo Alves, Mónica Dias, Lívia Franco, Nuno Sampaio, Sónia Ribeiro, Inês Gregório e Joana Ramos (IEP-UCP)

This project, funded by the European Erasmus+ program and involving 19 global partners, aims to collect, review, debate and disseminate insightful and innovative research and educational material on ‘Europe in the world’. With a multiregional approach that takes into account local dynamics and practices in Europe and beyond, this project will allow the study of European external affairs, Europe’s place in the world, and its relation with countries and regions, in key thematic areas such as trade and sustainable development, security and defense, human rights and democracy, climate change, culture and education, demographics and migration, and science and technology. More information about this project here.

tecAtlantic: Training for Employability and Technology in the Atlantic (started in 2021)
Participating Researcher: Sónia Ribeiro (IEP-UCP)

The tecAtlantic project includes vocational training for young people, employability training in key areas for the development of the blue economy, and entrepreneurship training in the blue sector. It is funded by the Blue Growth Program of the EEA Grants and promoted by the Fórum Oceano in partnership with the Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, through the Centro Mare and Mare Startup, along with the Instituto de Estudos Políticos da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, and Colégio Valsassina, all from Portugal, as well as GCE Ocean Technology from Norway. The project has also the institutional support of the Lisbon City Council and the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research from Germany. 

With the support of the EEA Grants, a multiannual financial mechanism through which Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway provide financial support to the Member States of the European Union, tecAtlantic is seen as a project that focuses on training for the blue economy in an innovative way, with different target audiences, from secondary school students to working professionals or those looking for retraining.More information about this project here.

Great Power Competition in the Atlantic (started in 2022)
Coordinator: Francisco Proença Garcia (IEP-UCP)

An Atlantic Centre (Ministério da Defesa Nacional) Project developed in partnership with Centro de Estudos Estratégicos, Angola, Centro de Estudos Estratégicos do Exército, Brazil, Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute, Ghana, Policy Center for a New South, Morocco, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, United States, e Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain.

The project aims at providing Atlantic States with a detailed report for decision-making that considers the current changing geopolitical context in the Atlantic. This report intends to map patterns of political, military and commercial engagement by non-Atlantic powers in the Atlantic region, assess the security impacts of this presence in the region and develop policy recommendations on which cooperation initiatives can be implemented to strengthen the development of a more effective response of the Atlantic community. The final report should aim to cover areas such as piracy, migration flows, climate change, illicit traffic flows, energy security and governance in the Atlantic area.


ELSiA 2021-2023: a partnership for the Promotion of Integral Ecology in Europe (started in 2021)
Participating Researchers: André Azevedo Alves (IEP-UCP), João António (CESOP, CIEP) e Inês Gregório (IEP-UCP)

Project in partnership with St. Mary’s University, London, Bishop Grosseteste University, Universitat Ramon Lull, Barcelona and Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan

The project aims at developing a quantitative tool to identify initiatives that have been inspired by the Laudato Si' encyclical and that have been implemented by actors associated with the Catholic Church in Europe since 2016. After the collection and analysis of primary data, projects and activities will be classified according to the seven objectives determined by Laudato Si', through a questionnaire developed in conjunction with the European Laudato Si' Association (ELSiA). The information will allow orienting and reallocating resources according to needs, as well as providing data to ELsiA partners on activities related to the theme of integral ecology.

Six Revolutions of the Modern Era (started in 2020)
Coordinators: João Carlos Espada (IEP-UCP), Luiz Felipe Pondé (LABÔ PUC-SP)

A Project developed in partnership with LABÔ, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo.

The project builds on previous research developed by LICEO to develop a comparative analysis of six Revolutions: the English or Glorious Revolution (1688), the American Revolution (1776) and the French Revolution (1789), the Portuguese Liberal Revolution (1820), the Proclamation of the Brazilian Republic (1889) and the Russian Revolution (1917). Coordinated by Professors João Carlos Espada e Luiz Felipe Pondé, the research team is composed by Professors Carlos Marques de Almeida, Orlando Samões, João Pereira Coutinho, José Tomaz Castello Branco e Bruno Garschagen, as well as students at the IEP and LABÔ. A seminar associated with the project is taking place during the 2nd Semester of 2020/2021.

The promotion of freedom, globalisation, enterprise and civil society in 21st-century Catholic social teaching (started in 2018)
Coordinators: Philip Booth (St. Mary’s University, London), André Azevedo Alves (IEP-UCP)

A Project developed in partnership with St. Mary’s University, London and in cooperation with Universidade Católica de Moçambique, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil), Instituto Superior Politécnico Jean Piaget de Benguela (Angola) and Instituto Democracia e Desenvolvimento (Cape Verde).

The project aims to promote a better understanding of how Catholic Social Thought and the thinking associated with it can relate to the market economy and the provision of social welfare services through non-state mechanisms. More information about this project here.

Digital Ethics Laboratory (started in 2021)
Leading Researcher: William Hasselberger (IEP-UCP)

The Universidade Católica Portuguesa has created the Digital Ethics Laboratory, a project focused on the challenges and ethical issues arising from the introduction of digital technologies in major social domains and their impact on individuals. Led by Professor William Hasselberger, in the words of Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector of the UCP, the Digital Ethics Laboratory aims to "enhance the production of innovative and interdisciplinary research on the major scientific issues that arise in the field of Digital Ethics, stimulating the production and dissemination of other quality research results, bringing together the efforts of researchers from various academic units and UCP's R&D, in collaboration with researchers from other universities of recognized national and international merit". Statement here.

SACRU: Strategic Alliance of Catholic Research Universities (CIEP’s participation started in 2020)
Participating Researchers: André Azevedo Alves, William Hasselberger (IEP-UCP)

Since October 2018, Universidade Católica Portuguesa has been part of the SACRU network together with seven Catholic Universities from around the world: Boston College in the USA; Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro; Universidad de Ramon Llull in Spain; Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Australian Catholic University and Sophia University in Japan. Since 2020, Professor André Azevedo Alves is a member of the Working Group on responses to the COVID-19 and Professor William Hasselberger investigates issues related to the ethics of Artificial Intelligence in the context of SACRU.

Artificial Intelligence and the Common Good (started in 2020)
Coordinators: William Hasselberger (IEP-UCP), Pedro Simas (UCP) 

A Project developed in partnership with universities of the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU): in particular, Boston College (Massachusetts), Catholic University of America (Washington D.C), University of Notre Dame (Indiana) and Australian Catholic University.

The project seeks to give more substantive content to the ideal of a human-AI relationship that safeguards and strengthens distinctively human skills and capacities, and respects the dignity of the human person, in contrast to a human-machine relationship that substitutes mechanical processes for human judgment, social ties, and agency, in the interest of a small technological elite. Scholars working within the Catholic intellectual tradition have at their disposal a rich concept of the human person—including conceptions of the ethical virtues and ideals of community life and social practices oriented to human goods. This tradition can expand and deepen our notion of “human-centred” AI. An interview on these topics given by Professor William Hasselberger in the context of the International Federation of Catholic Universities is available here.

Transatlantic Relations in the Post-Covid 19 World (started in 2021)
Participating Researcher: Lívia Franco (IEP-UCP)

As in other areas of human life, also in the international arena, the Covid-19 pandemic has deepened and highlighted trends that were already underway. These changes appear to have accelerated concerning transatlantic cooperative arrangements. The most complex and multidimensional multilateral relationship in international politics has long been under pressure. It was, however, the Covid-19 pandemic that confirmed the end of the long cycle of post-World War II arrangements, exacerbating pre-existing tensions and questioning the central axis of the so-called Liberal Order. And now? To what extent will the new American administration and the governments of European countries be committed to assuming the terms of a renewed transatlantic relationship?

Observatory of Family Responsible Municipalities (started in 2013)
Participating Researcher: André Azevedo Alves (IEP-UCP)

The project is an APFN initiative based on the principle that the family is a landmark of irreplaceable social coexistence and cohesion for the life and well-being of the population. In this context, the project aims to identify and promote measures whose adoption at local plans encourages the exercise of family responsibilities with greater and better guarantees, favouring the existence of more stable, healthy and functional families. The concrete measures to be adopted suggested in the Reference Framework for a Family Policy for Family Responsible Municipalities are within the scope of: Support to Motherhood and Fatherhood, Support to Families with special needs; Basic Services; Education and training; Housing and Urbanism; Transport; Health; Culture, Sports, Leisure and Free Time; Cooperation, institutional relations and social participation. More info here.

The Ocean of (my) future (started in 2021)
Participating Researcher: Sónia Ribeiro (IEP-UCP)

A Project developed in partnership with Fórum Oceano, Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon (FCUL), GCE Ocean Technology and Colégio Valsassina.

The main objective of the project is to create in young people a proactive attitude and behaviour towards the challenges that the Oceans and their sustainable uses face, as well as towards the opportunities and challenges in (their) professional future. The project will focus on key sectors of Blue Growth: i) aquaculture and the fish industry; ii) blue biotechnology; iii) maritime technology; iv) water sports; v) marine environment, sustainability and biodiversity and vi) social sciences (public policies, economics and law).

GLOBOCEAN Global Ocean Assessment for managers and decision-makers (started in 2020)
Participating Researcher: Sónia Ribeiro (IEP-UCP)

A Project developed in partnership with the University of Algarve - CIMA and United by the Sea.

The project aims to make known, in a simple but adequate and correct way, the great variables and the general framework of the Ocean Assessment, from which can be defined Action Plans for economic, social or environmental activities related to the use and conservation of the Ocean. The project proposes, therefore, to fill the gap existing in the production of knowledge published in the Ocean Assessment report and its knowledge and appropriation by its final recipients. This will be carried through the creation and compilation of a collection of thematic information sheets following the topics essential elements of the report, and the making of illustrative infographics and increased accessibility for policy-makers and different audiences that can then be shared openly and widely disseminated in society.

Previous projects

The Rising Authoritarian Powers: Contemporary Challenges to Democracy (2020-2022)
Coordinators: William Hasselberger, Francisco Proença Garcia (IEP-UCP)

The project aims at understanding the new authoritarian forces that exert influence in the democratic world. The research aims at thinking about the challenges associated with the current liberal democracies in several dimensions associated with new technologies, economic policy, disinformation campaigns and foreign interference. The project investigates not only authoritarian challenges in Portugal and the European Union but also how authoritarian forces influence processes of democratisation and economic development in Lusophone Africa. In addition to involving the academic community, the project extends to journalists, NGOs, think-tanks and all interested in understanding the mechanisms that protect and challenge democracy. The major output of this project was the publication of the book "Authoritarian Power and the challenges to Liberal Democracy".

The Portuguese Presidency of the EU Council (2020)
Participating Researcher: Lívia Franco (IEP-UCP)

A Project developed by the European Council of Foreign Relations and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

The project aimed to identify and analyse the fundamental lines of the plan for the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2021. The study highlights the possibility for Portugal to collaborate in the development of a foreign policy strategy that ensures the Union a global leadership role in the face of a restructuring international order strongly influenced by the US-China competition. The Portuguese presidency will also aim to develop relations with the United Kingdom after Brexit, strengthen ties with Africa and India, strengthen the fight against climate change, social inequalities and support the digital transformation. Full study here.

Beliefs, Values and Worldviews at Work (2018-2019)
Coordinators: Maria Power (Blackfriars, Oxford), Christopher Baker (Goldsmiths University of London), André Azevedo Alves (IEP-UCP)

Universidade Católica Portuguesa, through a partnership between CIEP and CESOP, teamed up with lead researcher Christopher Baker (Goldsmiths University of London) and with researcher Maria Power (Blackfriars, Oxford) for an international research project in which Professor André Azevedo Alves participated as a senior researcher. The project on beliefs, values and world views at work and its impact on the workplace was funded by a British Academy Grant. More info here.

PPE Network:  Politics, Philosophy (2016-2020)
Coordenadores: William Hasselberger and Orlando Samões (IEP-UCP)

Collaboration in an international network led by the University of Arizona (Center for the Philosophy of Freedom) to reflect on the development of the interdisciplinary area of PPE and of promoting new opportunities for collaboration in research and advanced training. Following the collaboration on this international network, a joint workshop was organised in July 2016 in Estoril. 

Portugal and Multilateralism (2019)
Participating Researcher: Lívia Franco (IEP-UCP)


A Project developed by the European Council of Foreign Relations and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

The project aimed to study the relationship between Portugal and the European Union (EU), based on a critical assessment of the perception of the Portuguese vis-à-vis the EU. Of the main conclusions of the study, it is highlighted that, despite the wave of Euroscepticism after the financial bailout of 2011, the Portuguese believe that their future is linked to Europe. While recognising the economic benefits of joining the Union, they understand it as a project that is not limited to this dimension: they value multilateralism and hope that European integration will enable them to face the challenges of globalisation. Full study here.

Research Project Orçamento, Economia e Democracia (2016-2018)
Coordinador: Abel Mateus (2016-2018)
Participating Researcher: André Azevedo Alves, Catarina Leão, Francesco Franco, José Tavares, Rita Calçada Pires

Project sponsored by Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, started in 2016, coordinated by Abel Mateus (University College London) and that, besides CIEP’s collaboration on the field of Political Science, it has also the collaboration of researchers from Nova School of Business and Economics. Its main objective is to analyse the institutional architecture that best assures the efficacy and transparency in the formulation of budget policy in Portugal, looking for answers to improve how funds are allocated and managed in Portugal. To read the final report, please click here.

The Three Revolutions of the Modern Era (1688, 1776, 1689)
Coordinators: João Carlos Espada, Orlando Samões and Carlos Marques de Almeida (IEP-UCP)

Research seminars, an initiative of the thematic research line LICEO – European and Western Civilization: Origins, Distinguishing Features, Present Challenges – where students meet regularly to present and discuss the previously provided readings on the given topic.

Post-Graduation in Sea Science and Business Administration
Coordinator: Sónia Ribeiro (IEP-UCP)

LIAM-Maria Scientia, CIEP’s thematic line in Maritime Affairs, organizes in partnership with other units of Universidade Católica Portuguesa and with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon a pioneer training programme on the areas of Sciences, Management and Sea Administration.

Conservation and Progress: a Comparative Study in European Transitions 
Coordinators: André Azevedo Alves, Lívia Franco (IEP-UCP)

A research collaboration that began in 2015 with the Catholic University Pázmany Peter Budapest, and within which researchers met for a research seminar in Budapest (May 2015) and another in Lisbon (October 2016).

European Foreign Policy Scorecard
Participating Researcher: Lívia Franco (IEP-UCP)

Collaboration in the development of the European Foreign Policy Scorecard, a tool developed by the European Center for Foreign Relations to provide a systematic evaluation of the performance of European institutions in dealing with the rest of the world in around 80 areas of political topics.